Wetting Films of the Aqueous Cationic Polyelectrolyte Solutions on Quartz

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It was shown that the stability of the wetting films of aqueous cationic polyelectrolyte solutions on the flat quartz surface depends on solution concentration. At a low concentration, the films are stable owing to the electrostatic repulsive forces. At a high polyelectrolyte concentration, the films are unstable due to the hydrophobization of quartz and the appearance of the hydrophobic attractive forces in the films. In the intermediate concentration range, the films are metastable and their lifetime depends upon the competition between the electrostatic repulsive and hydrophobic attractive forces. Thus, the concentration of cationic polyelectrolyte substantially affects the wetting conditions of the quartz surface. This conclusion can also be extended to other solid surfaces negatively charged in aqueous solutions, which is inherent to the majority of natural materials.

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